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I am combining April and May because the main festival Beltaine or Beltane, the first summer festival falls at the end of April and beginning of May in the Northern hemisphere.

Full moons

The full moon for April has passed buut the in May it is on 17 May at 11:08 GMT
You can find the precise time of the moon becoming full in your own time zone by checking a local paper, a diary with moon dates and times or an almanac. The moment of full moon is considered the most magical time of the month. Of course you can use the energies around that time for magic or meditation.

The time of the full moon is calculated as the second of the full moon by purists and after that it is said to begin to wane. However in practice, its energies remain powerful for 24 hours before the full moon time and during the week after the full moon though these decrease the further from the full moon you move and the waning pull kicks in.

In cultures such as the Celts and Native North Americans each full moon was named according to the weather, the natural growth of wild plants and planted crops or the migration and breeding habits of the birds and animals and the names vary greatly  among the Native North American nations according to their geographical location.

Therefore I suggest that you start naming each full moon starting in April with a significant event in your life or region, for example if in April you get out your boat or caravan for the summer or you notice certain birds suddenly appear in the garden. Sometimes a month can have a second moon, called a blue moon at the end of the month if the first full moon occurred near the beginning of that month.

When you look up at a particular full moon in the sky, notice how it makes you feel and in time you will be able to tell the subtle difference in energies between even two moons following each other. Keep a separate diary or a computer folder marked with your moon or goddess months, the distance between two full moons, as your inner or spiritual calendar as an additional measure to your conventional calendar. There will be thirteen lunar months in the calendar year and you can name them differently from year to year accordingly as to what is actually happening in nature and your life. However you will see a pattern emerging over for example five years and realise that a particular moon seems to bring a strong desire to travel or learn something new, even if its appearance varies by a week or two.

Try to spend some time out under each full moon and use the powerful changing energies, caused by the sun and moon being astrologically in opposition to make those changes you want but have been afraid to try.

Working with full moon energies

Use the full moon energies to focus on

  • Fulfilling an immediate need

  • Boosting power or courage immediately

  • Actually changing career or location

  • Protecting yourself psychically or emotionally from malice

  • Healing acute medical conditions

  • Raising a large sum of money needed urgently

  • Consummating love/conceiving a child

  • Making a permanent love commitment

  • Good luck

  • Make or break talks in a relationship that is looking shaky (risky but maybe better than uncertainty)

  • Initiating action for justice, whether through the legal system or putting right an injustice in your life that bugs you

  • Taking a major step towards fulfilling an ambition or dream

  • Asking for promotion or major job interviews

Full Moon Activities

  • Because the time around the full moon can cause restlessness, it is important to channel your natural desire for change and action to avoid irritability tipping over into bad temper or change for changeís sake. If you do discuss relationship issues set boundaries and avoid recriminations.

  • Do something decisive and positive. Send off your novel, propose to the guy or girl of your dreams, audition for a starring part on the local drama production, ask your boss for more money or suggest how your talents might be better used. 

  • Use the surge of power to carry you to the crest of wave and if there is something you want to get rid of then you can use the days after the full moon that are still very potent to carry you on the tide of change

  • Go all out  to clear insurmountable obstacles while the energies are unstable

  • If you want to move, put your house on the market just before the full moon. The waning moon  in the days after will diminish the pull that holds the home psychologically strongly to you, that can be reflected in your unconsciously not inspiring viewers to buy it

  • If your home is already on the market use the day before and the day of the full moon for some personal advertising initiative or some personal empowerments such as the house is sold and we are on the move spoken outside your home in the full moonlight

  • Apply for necessary and realistic financial assistance on the full moon when boundaries are less rigid or to speculate or gamble. But only take chances on the day of the full moon before the good luck energies start to wane.

  • Take a chance to apply for a course or job you think is beyond you as you have  a powerful cosmic tide to increase your confidence and charisma

  • Make healing moon water on the night of the full moon.

  • On the night of the full moon (it rises around sunset) set a silver coloured or clear crystal bowl outdoors where the moonlight can shine on it.

  • Half fill it with sparkling mineral water or substitute bubbling tap water.

  • Surround the bowl with pure white flowers or blossoms or small moonstones.

  • Stir the water nine times with a silver coloured paper knife in both directions to stir the energies. Ask the moon to bless the water and those who use it.

  • Leave the bowl outdoors covered with fine mesh overnight.

  • In the morning use a glass jug and filter to pour the water into small blue or frosted glass bottles that you can keep in your fridge or a cool place until the next full moon night.

  • Any that you have not used during the month pour into the ground before the moon rise on the full moon night.

  • Drink a few drops daily for a month starting on the morning after the full moon to bring men as well as women in touch with their own bodily rhythms and cycle of energy ebbs and flows.

  • Moon water helps a woman who wishes to conceive a child by helping her to get in tune with her natural cycles. It may help her body to become more receptive in cases where anxiety is blocking or making a physical problem worse (even for IVF or Artificial Insemination). Anoint your breasts and womb with the water before lovemaking which should be as spontaneous as possible for a month or two if you are following an ovulation plan or before any fertility treatment (if this is allowed under the treatment).

  • Add a few drops to a bath to attract love or a particular lover before going out on a date or on line to talk to possible partners 

  • Use moon water in a soothing hot drink at night to relieve insomnia

  • Sprinkle round the bed of a child or adult who suffers bad dreams.

  • Sprinkle a little round plants that are neglected or abused, for example in a reception area of an office.

  • Add to the water of sick or pregnant animals and birds or any from a rescue centre you have adopted

Beltane or Beltaine, from 30 April to 2nd May, the beginning of the Celtic summer in the northern hemisphere or strictly 15 degrees of Taurus in the Northern Hemisphere or 15 degrees of Scorpio in the Southern hemisphere (the latter at the beginning of November.

If you live in the Southern hemisphere you will be celebrating Samhain the beginning of the Celtic winter and New Year. However you can take from Beltaine the sister festival directly across the wheel the enthusiasm and a reminder that creativity and fertility energies can be called into your life any time of the year when the need is there. Each sister festival, such as Beltaine and Samhain, carries the seeds of the other. Especially if your climate is warm in the Southern climes you can add flowers to your more solemn Samhain, Festival of the Ancestors. This forms a reminder life goes on even in winter and that the baby Sun King will be born not so many weeks ahead.

Focus of Beltaine or Beltane:  Fertility whether for conceiving a child (even stronger energies than the Spring Equinox), for improvement in career, business or financial matters, for increasing commitment in love, for passion and the consummation of love, for creative inspiration, for improving health and increasing energy, for optimism and self-confidence: for abundance in every way and for generosity; good for people in their twenties and thirties and for speaking your mind honestly but with tact.

Keywords: Passion, fertility

Emphasis of festival: Fire / flowers

Energies of the season: Rising

Symbols: Fresh greenery and blossoms, especially hawthorn (indoors only on May 1), also ribbons, staffs or staves decorated with flowers and ribbons, bells, all flowers

Tree: Hawthorn\elder

Incenses, flowers and herbs: Almond, angelica, ash, cowslip, frankincense, hawthorn, lilac, bluebells, marigolds and roses for love; also any floral fragrance.

Candle colours: Dark green, scarlet and silver

Crystals: Clear crystal quartz, red tigerís eye, Herkimer diamond, golden tigerís eye, amber and topaz.

Festival Foods: Any roasted meat, traditional oatmeal cake cut into thirteen portions (or one piece for each person present). The person drawing a piece marked beforehand with a cross traditionally has to pay a forfeit or entertain those present with a song; also egg custard dishes, mead (fermented honey drink), any miniature delicacies said to be left by the fairies whose festival it is, elderflower and berry jams

Angel of the festival: Camael or Chamuel, Archangel of Courage, Divine Love and Justice who wears a deep red tunic with dark green armour, a halo of dark ruby flames and with rich green wings.

God and Goddess of the festival:  The Green man, God of vegetation who as Jackí of the Green, a kind of Robin Hood figure,  married the Flower Goddess whom he crowned as the May Queen with garlands of flowers; also the Anglo Saxon Goddess Walpurga of spring who was Christianised as St Walpurga

The Place on the Wheel

Beltaine or Beltane is named after the Irish god of light, in whose honour fires were kindled at this time by rubbing wood together.

Sundown on May Eve heralded the signal for the Celtic Druids to kindle the great Bel-fires from nine different kinds of wood.  At this time cattle were released from the winter barns and driven between twin fires to cleanse them and to invoke fertility as they were released into the fields.

Winter was finally dead as at midnight on May Eve Caillieach Bhuer, the old hag of winter, cast her staff under a holly bush and turned to stone until six months later on Halloween.

A time of great fairy activity, especially around standing stones and stone circles.

Sacred wells are very potent on May 1 both for healing and fertility.

Ways of Marking the Festival in the Modern World

  • Light your own Bel bonfire burning as many different kinds of wood as you can find. When the fire is burned though, scatter a few of the ashes to the four winds from a hilltop or open space, sending your wishes for the future with them. Bury the rest.

  • Alternatively light a huge scarlet candle embedded in sand or earth and drop dried rosemary, lavender  or rose petals into the flame, asking the cosmos to send what you most need which may be different from what you think you want .

  • Trade plants with friends and save any fragrant flowers or herbs you pick or are given over the coming weeks to dry and make into potpourri or home made incense to burn on charcoal or outdoor fires

  • Make a garland on a circle of wire or fill a vase with nine different flowers or different coloured flowers. Bloddeuwedd the Welsh maiden goddess was made on May 1 from nine different flowers to be the bride of Llew the young Welsh god of light.

  • For each flower make a wish, some that will need all your power and optimism to fulfil.

  • Rise at dawn on May morning and wash your face by adding a few drops of the morning dew (you can collect it with an eye dropper) to a bowl of water. May morning dawn is said to make you radiant and bring health and fertility.

  • Fill small baskets with garden flowers or greenery and leave them on the doorsteps of anyone who is sick or lonely to spread the abundance of the season.

  • Visit a sacred well or a small lake or pool in accordance with tradition just before sunrise and walk round it three times sunwise (clockwise), asking for healing for yourself or loved ones. Tie a ribbon to a nearby tree as a way of saying thank you to Mother Nature.

  • Run, cycle, dance, swim, roller blade or jump and stir up the energies as a way of building up your inner power. Go up hill and then freewheel down.

  • If possible go along to one of the traditional May morning celebrations in your area or invite a group of friends for a flower party and ask them all to bring along a few flowers or plants to exchange.

  • Decorate a tree or  a branch from a tree with flowers, ribbons and bells and your May time symbols and spiral round it, allowing your feet to trace and amplify the energies of the earth, as if you were Maypole dancing.

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